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Gary Leffew Bull Riding Clinic


By Jeremie Newcom

Gary Leffew is no ordinary bull rider. The former professional world champion bull rider turned actor, movie and television consultant, businessman, and coach, is the man who taught Luke Perry (of  90210 fame) how to ride a horse and a bull for the movie, 8 Seconds and Timothy Olyphant (star of Justified) how to ride a horse when he starred in the TV series, Deadwood.

Gary Leffewis a World Champion Bull Rider, inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2002. He is known as the rodeo “Bull Riding Guru of Positive Thinking.” 

Last year, riders from several states traveled to Friendship, Tennessee to attend the Gary Leffew Bull Riding Clinic, hosted by Ernie Roberts at the Cowboys For Christ Arena.

Leffew uses visualization, video feedback, and other techniques to teach an understanding of the importance of mental attitude, as well as physical techniques, in bull riding. “Winning is 60% mental and 40% ability,” he says, emphasizing meditation and positive thinking. “I have seen very talented bull riders defeated because they never developed focus and a set of well-defined goals.”

His unique and progressive meditation and positive thinking program applies to any sport, evident by the fact that equestrian riders have sought him out.

 “I could do a side-by-side picture comparison of  Grand Prix rider, Hap Hanson, and Tuff Hedeman, three-time PRCA World Champion bull rider, and when the animal they are riding is jumping, their body positions are the same,” he said, demonstrating a two-point position. The higher they jump, the more you have to move to the front end to find your natural center of balance. “I encourage my bull riding students to ride their horses bareback.”

He also stresses safety factors in the sport, hoping to prevent young riders from developing bad habits that could get them hurt.

Born in California, the Hall of Fame bull rider grew up on a 45,000-acre ranch. At the age of twenty, he accepted a challenge to ride a bull and his bull riding career was born. He practiced every day and earned the right to ride against the greatest bull riders in the business. His impact on the sport of bull riding is tremendous. He teaches clinics all over the world. Twelve of his students have won World Championship titles and two are PBR World Finals Champion Bull Riders.

For more on Gary Leffew, visit his website,

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